10. The Compositional Dance

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By Steve Simon

I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.

Diane Arbus

The sheer act of determining what is placed within the frame and what is left out—the organization of space—is one of the most important tasks we do when taking pictures. Composition is a bit like a dance: You move around the floor and try new angles to see what they look like so you can arrive at the best possible place to take the picture.

The more you work the scene, often the better the photographs become. Here are some strategies for ...

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